A question for someone who owns a USB Mixer...

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by animefx, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. animefx macrumors regular

    May 10, 2005
    I have a regular mixer now, and one thing that always bothered me is the mixer mixes down all of the inputs either in the mixer, or because its use an analog line out there is no choice.

    My theory on USB Mixers (which I need to know If I'm correct on this or not) is if I have 4 mic inputs, and several other inputs on the mixer (say for an electric guitar and drum machine) and we are using all 6 inputs at once, that the digital connection of the mixer to usb to mac/pc will allow you to record each input as a seperate track with something like garage band. Is this correct? For those of you who are still confused I'll try and illustrate my idea.

    regular mixer
    Mic 1 - Bob
    Mic 2 - Jill
    Input 1 - Guitar
    Input 2 - Drum Machine
    ... Recording track 1 in Garage Band Bob+Jill+Guitar+Drum Machine (all together)

    usb mixer
    ... Recording track 1 - Bob
    ... Recording track 2 - Jill
    ... Recording track 3 - Guitar
    ... Recording track 4 - Drum Machine
    (i'm able to edit each of these tracks with different effects later.. nice!)

    Is this the way a USB Mixer works or are they all different? Maybe my logic is incorrect?

    Any and all clarification would be appreciated.

  2. Poeben macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2004
    I don't know of any USB mixers off hand. Do you have anything specific in mind?

    I would recommend an analog mixer with firewire I/O if you want something self contained. The small format Mackie Onyx boards have a firewire I/O option and they sound pretty good. Alesis also makes a small mixer (12 channels I think) that has firewire connectivity. For the Mackies at least, the firewire interface acts as one output to the computer per mixer channel, and stereo output back from the computer.

    You can also forego the mixer entirely and get something like a MOTU 896HD, or a Digi002(R). Keep in mind that you will quickly desire more channels of I/O and eventually outgrow garageband.
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Alesis MultiMix units come in either USB or Firewire, 8, 12 or 16 channel

    BUT: the USB versions only send a stereo mix to the computer
    "USB 1.1 Stereo input/Output for PC and Mac. "

    While the Firewire version has multiple channel input
    "The MultiMix FireWire series are great sounding standalone mixers with an integrated 24-bit FireWire interface. Each input channel on the mixer (plus the stereo mix) is sent into your computer while a stereo output is received from the computer for monitoring."

    But perhaps the OP is using USB mixer to mean a USB Digital audio interface with more than 2 inputs.

    There are some 4-channel USB interfaces, some have level control, qualifying them as simple mixers, however the limited bandwidth of USB 1.1 means that 4 channels is the practical maximum it can transmit. Most are limited to 2 channels of input and output.

    Tascam has some USB interfaces with 4 inputs and 4 faders.
  4. thecritix macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2006
    West London, England
    I have the Alesis Multimix firewire 12 and does exactly what you want it to do.

    I'd reccomend it from my limited experience with it.
  5. KatmanDu macrumors member

    May 16, 2007
    NE Georgia
    I'm using the Edirol M16DX, but not for multitrack recording to a DAW. You can assign each channel to a track, but only 2 at a time; so you'd have to record the first two, then switch channels/tracks and record the next two, etc.

    I think a firewire mixer is the only thing that's going to let you feed more than two channels at a time.

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